Last week we talked about the effect badly written communication may have on your working relationships. This week we will take a look at face to face communication and hopefully provide you with some simple tips to help you get the most out of your working conversations.
Think, plan and rehearse what you want to communicate before starting any conversation.
Keep it personal:
Use their name “I agree John, we should include the free pen in our offer”, this makes the conversation more personal and shows you have taken an interest.
Bridget the fidget was my nickname as a child, I found it very difficult to sit still and concentrate on the task in hand. When you are having a face to face conversation it is important to keep eye contact and where possible try not to move about too much. This can be very off putting for the other person/people in the room. It could also give off the impression that you would rather be somewhere else, and though this may be true try to keep it under wraps. Think about personal space, being too close could make you come across as intimidating. However, don’t be too submissive and cower in the corner.
Think about the tone of your voice, we can relay many emotions with our voice and you want to ensure that you communicate the right one. Taking a short pause before you respond gives you a chance to consider what you are trying to say, it could also show that you are taking on board what the other person is trying to convey.
Do not underestimate how important it is to listen. If your mind begins to wander you could miss valid points. Check what you have heard, “so John you do think that Bob is the right man for the job?” Not only could this reduce misunderstandings it also shows you were paying attention.
At the end of the conversation it is worthwhile summarising what you have discussed to ensure that you both understand the next stage and agree what is to be done.
There are all sorts of reasons for face to face communication, appraisals, presentations or tough conversations! I hope these simple tips will give you some ideas at how to improve your communication. We run training courses on “Effective Business Communication”, if this is something you would be interested in please contact us.